Review: Cafe DeLan — A worthy new restaurant for a date night in Noida

From warm interiors, to live music and contemporary yet consistent food, Cafe DeLan can very well be an understated find for you in Noida.

Cafe delan
Noida’s newest eatery, Cafe DeLan, is a warm and inviting space that does the food just right and gets you coming back for more. Image: Courtesy Cafe DeLan.

Ever since DLF opened doors to The Mall of India in Noida, residents of the National Capital Region (NCR) satellite town no longer needed to compulsorily visit Delhi for a hearty meal. This year, the F&B offerings of Noida have stepped up by a further notch — thanks to a mix that today includes Roastery Coffee House, The Big Chill (cafe and cakery), Burma Burma, and Third Wave Coffee. You even have Noida’s own suave destinations — from Haven in Sector 74, to Alma Bakery in Sector 93.

Cafe DeLan, in the increasingly bustling hub of Sector 104, is a happy addition to this burgeoning bunch.

Getting the location (largely) right

We start with the location, for this is perhaps the biggest Achilles Heel for most joints in Noida. You see, Roastery Coffee House, with its pet-friendliness and open courtyard vibe, makes for a great eatery to visit after a tiresome day. The open surroundings and the lack of traffic around it are great, too. However, being placed at Sector 144, the venue can take 45 minutes — or even more on some days — to reach from Noida’s central business district, Sectors 16 and 18.

While The Mall of India is located well, its inevitable popularity means that barring weekday afternoons and a few lucky evenings, you’d be fortunate to get parking space, or a place to sit in one of its many cafes.

Cafe delan
With its warm interiors and mellow lighting, Cafe DeLan hits all the right notes. Image: Courtesy Cafe DeLan.

All things considered, Cafe DeLan, situated on the busy street down Starling Mall in Sector 104, is central enough. Thanks to a whole bunch of new eateries, surrounded by numerous multi-tower residential complexes, Sector 104 is a buzzing area — and it mostly does well to lift your spirits.

The location is still work in progress, so you’d still find a host of industrial shops down the same lane. Parking your vehicle could be a tad bit of an issue as well, particularly on weekends. Thankfully, the complimentary valet service ensures that you do not feel the stress.

Given that this could be your potential new joint to explore for an evening to unwind at, not stressing about parking your car could be crucial, indeed.

To food that you can count on

While I’d typically talk about the ambience and vibe of a venue at this point, I’d skip over to the food in this case. Among other reasons, the rather reliable and consistent food servings play a big role in this.

A quick glance through the menu, and you find a wonderfully all-encompassing and contemporary menu. You get Avocado toast and Sourdough French toasts for breakfast – and even a full-blown Classic English breakfast too, if you’re here on a Saturday morning.

Cafe delan
Cafe DeLan’s contemporary menu has an impressive selection of vegetarian fare, which are wholesome and delicious. Image: Courtesy Cafe DeLan.

There’s plenty of eye on the health scales, too. DeLan serves Quinoa, Grilled mushroom and even a Spit-roasted chicken salad.

But, what impresses more is that there is no dearth of choice for vegetarians — a sign that I’ve always taken to be positive. You get old-school favourites such as the Cheese-loaded Veg Nachos, or even Bun-tikki sliders, which are wholesome, warm and flavourful. There is also a Tomato Caprese Bruschetta that hits all the right tick boxes, and the diced-up Bombay Pao Bhaji ‘bites’ gives just the right dollop of butter in it.

The bhaji would feel gentle for fans of heavy spices, but you can always request for the heat to be turned up. The pao is soft, even at a late serving near DeLan’s closing time — yet another sign of a good kitchen.

Non-vegetarian options worth trying include the Curry Leaf Chicken Tikka, Peri-peri Chicken Wings, Amritsari Tawa Fish, and Tandoori Prawns — each offering the right amount of cooking and spices.

DeLan also serves a host of pizza options — interestingly with more vegetarian choices. Popeye’s Truffle — with spinach, mushroom, garlic flakes, and truffle oil — is a very savoury choice with the right amount of crunch in the crust. If you’re not feeling up for adventures, the ‘Garden pizza’ with broccoli, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, onions, and peppers (I always make it a point to leave out the zucchini) is worth being vouched for.

Cafe delan
A restaurant that takes its food seriously, Cafe DeLan also offers a delectable Indian main course. Image: Courtesy Cafe DeLan.

You also have a full-scale Indian main course serving, as well as a host of pastas and risotto — if you’re up for a full meal. You can pair this with a slew of interesting coffee choices — the cappucino is exactly what you’d expect, and there’s even a Peach cold brew for those with a sweet but non-milk coffee preference.

You get the gist by now, but what you truly find is a restaurant that takes its food seriously — and offers dishes that are familiar, reliable and consistent. After a hard work week, or on a jittery but exciting second date, getting the food on the table just right can be more invaluable than you’d expect. Thankfully, DeLan delivers just this.

A quiet wind-down, or even a date night?

Saving the best for last, what I liked the most about Cafe DeLan is its warm interior decor, complete with a live music stage. The bright but mellow lighting, interspersed with light-hued wooden furnishings and specks of greens everywhere makes it a venue that is instantly appealing.

The perfect lighting sets you in the right mood to unwind, or have a conversation – the sort-of aesthetic that Noida residents have invariably travelled down to Delhi for. The mis-en-scene is at par with benchmark Noida destinations such as Haven or Alma, and you get the vibe of a place that is welcoming and inviting.

Having gotten its location largely right, the ambience is the icing on the dessert — for a venue that adds a worthy name to Noida’s growing list of restaurants that you must visit.

Overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (Max: 5 stars)

Food: 8/10 | Drinks: 7/10 | Service: 8/10 | Décor: 8/10 | Vibe: 8/10 | One dish we loved: Bombay Pao Bhaji Bites | One dish that didn’t work for us: Injupuli Chicken Lollipop

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